President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced there will be enough supply for every American adult to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of May, two months earlier than previously expected.
“We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” Biden said. “When we came into office the prior administration had contracted for not nearly enough vaccine to cover adults in America. We rectified that.”
The announcement comes as regulators recently authorized the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Distribution of the vaccine, the third to be approved in the U.S., will be quickened by Merck’s agreement to help produce it.
Biden said he wants states to prioritize vaccinations for educators, school staffers and childcare workers, adding that he wants those groups to have received at least one shot by the end of the month.
Asked when the country can expect a return to normalcy, Biden responded: “I’ve been cautioned not to give an answer to that because we don’t know for sure.”
Though he added his hope is that America will be “back to normal” by this time next year or before that.
“We are making progress from the mess we inherited,” he said, noting that “things may get worse again.”
Though the country’s vaccination efforts are a reason for hope, the president encouraged Americans to continue wearing masks, saying, “Now is not the time to let our guard down.”